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Jay | Susan | Alex | Beth | Samantha
April 20, 2009 2:13 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Sudan is HUGE! I flew to Old Fangak and Pieri last Friday.  Three and a half hours each way, a bit more than 360 nautical miles, about 415 statute miles.  And that’s only up into the middle of South Sudan.

The flight was easy, and everything went very smoothly.  Old Fangak is only accessible by air, or by boat on a branch of the White Nile.  And with the rainy season starting, access at all either by boat or plane will get “iffy.”  When the rains swell the rivers they get dangerous and when the rains hit the runways the black cotton soil turns to glue that airplanes can barely move in, let alone take off from.  All that to say my passengers were glad to see me.

This week is looking slow so far.  A flight on Thursday out west to Yei, Nagashot and Napep.  Nagashot and Napep both require specific checkouts, due to restrictions on the airstrips.  Napep also has a bend in the middle of it and has some other complications.  Not bad once you see how but you definitely need someone to show you how the first time.  There’s a team of about 15 people in Napep, and the only ways into the village there are airplane, or foot. It’s about a 6 hour hike from Nagashot to Napep over rugged terrain.  This part of Sudan is mountainous, with few to no roads.  The team there is working with an unreached people group, and their first challenge is simply learning the language. It’s hard to share the gospel when you have a hard time simply saying “My name is….”  and being understood.

April 15, 2009 5:47 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Because the roads are horrible.  I didn’t take pictures…pictures of potholes are boring.  But we had something like 300 miles of pothole to cross on the way to Loki.  Long sections of the road were more pothole than road.  The road used to be paved, but the pavement has crumbled away.  You can’t grade the road because of the remnants of pavement.  Anyway we made it.  We stopped in Eldoret the first night and stayed at the AIC Missionary college and the second night we stayed in Lodwar with the Yosts, much to Alex’s approval.  Zach Yost is his best friend from West Nairobi School.

It’s the start of the rainy season, and the rains have started.  Fortunately it’s only the start.  The road here crosses any number of luggas (dry rivers) and they do fill with water when it rains.  We had one river crossing to do, with water washing up over the front of the hood.  The landcruiser handled it fine.

Anyway…I don’t intend to drive that road again until we go back to Nairobi before furlough.  We’ll fly, definitely.

Loki is hot. Hot hot hot.  The house is nice though we’re having some issues with the refrigerator.  It’s our first experience with a propane fridge and so far it’s not wonderful.  The freezer works, mostly, but the fridge part barely maintains something around normal room temp. We brought our car fridge and it’s doing duty as our freezer.  We’ll have to work out something on the fridge though.  That’s the project for the rest of the week.

I fly on Friday and Saturday and then some next week.  The schedule is pretty light at the moment…good for us to get settled in.

April 15, 2009 5:38 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Mr Zebra ran!  After sitting and awaiting overhaul of its engine since August 2007, Mr Zebra ran Thursday evening.  A few sputters and kicks and then the engine came to life!

The -really- funny part, though, was that the church next door (AIC Ngong) was practicing for Good Friday service…and as the engine fired up the church started Handel’s Halleluja chorus!

I was really hoping to at least run the engine before departing for Lokichogio, so this was very encouraging.  Now comes overhauling the brakes and parking brake, the rear axle, and the electrical system.

April 8, 2009 5:39 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Well, not quite yet. We leave Nairobi for Loki on Saturday, if everything gets finished, like my pilot license renewal. Friday is packing day, then Saturday we drive to Eldoret, and Sunday to Lodwar, and Monday to Lokichogio. I feel a little guilty about travelling on Easter Sunday, but only a little. For one thing if we stay here much longer we’ll settle in and not go, and they definitely need the help in Loki. For another, I can’t stand Nairobi…but that’s enough whining.

It occurs to me, though, that I don’t often write about spiritual matters on this blog. I’m not sure if this is odd for a missionary or not. Mostly I’m trying to tell the story of what we’re doing here so that family and friends have some idea what we’re up to. But we -are- missionaries so perhaps some more spiritual content is in order. Or perhaps I’m just trying to see the spiritual side of driving 2 1/2 days across Kenya (a drive that would take a day back in the US).

It is easy with what I do to lose sight of the end goal. AIM Air flies so that the great commission “…go to the ends of the earth and make disciples…” can be followed. One of the coolest bits of cargo I’ve carried recently was 900 kg of Bibles in Ding and Arabic into Sudan.

Anyway…Lord willing, paperwork complete, we travel north again on Saturday.

April 2, 2009 4:50 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Moving day, again.  We left Gatab last Friday, the 27th, to return to Nairobi for a couple weeks before moving to Lokichogio for a couple months.  Moving day, again.  Pack this throw that out give this other thing away, what about that thing?  Just give me a match.  It’s just apalling how fast you accumulate stuff even when you try not to…and we even had to hault it all 250 miles by airplane or four wheel drive!
Anyway, Victoria got a closer look at Kenya as we drove south. The drive was uneventful, though dusty.  Kenya is very dry and praying for rain.  We spent 2 days as tail end charlie in a 3 truck convoy. Lots and lots of dust.  I took the car in for maintenance today and the shop foreman said the air filter was nearly plugged from all the dust.

We’re in Nairobi, as I said, for a couple weeks, re-organizing before going to Lokichogio. I’ve got Caravan ground school before we go, and we have to wait for some car parts to come in on order.  It’s about a 2 – 2 1/2 day drive to Loki.  We’ll be stopping in Eldoret and then again in Lodwar on the way up.  Alex is looking forward to the Lodwar stop, since his best friend from West Nairobi School is there.